Thursday, September 18, 2008

Disaster Entitlement

On the way home I listened to an NPR story on Bolivar Peninsula. Several hundred residents remain on the peninsula after Hurricane Ike all but obliterated their town. They're afraid the government won't let them return to their property later.

The story takes pains to mention that some of the residents are living on land originally settled by their parents in 1920. That would be eleven years after the great 1909 hurricane killed 600 people in the same area.

Why do these people want to return to this property? Yes they've been through a horrible experience, but do they not realize that, if they stay, sooner or later they'll get hit by another tropical storm, and then another, and another?!

More importantly, why are we spending federal dollars to underwrite their decision? If they want to choose a "coastal" way of life, that's entirely their choice. But why do federal taxpayers have to pay for it?